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Archive for June 2011

Special from Yemen: Opposition groups accuse state of fomenting violence By: Shatha Al-Harazi

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Yemeni anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, June 1, 2011.

Sanaa – With President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s absence from Yemen lingering on, opposition leaders and anti-government protesters are, once again, accusing the regime of fomenting violence in provincial parts of the country for reasons of political expedience.

Presidential information secretary Ahmed al-Sofi on Sunday said Saleh plans to appear in the media within 48 hours for the first time since departing the country to receive treatment in Saudi Arabia for wounds sustained during a 3 June attack on his presidential palace.

Clashes raged in the capital with intense shelling and sniper fire for the three weeks preceding the attack. But since Saleh left the country, violence in Sanaa has abated.

The urban warfare pitted Saleh loyalists against forces led by Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, a powerful tribal leader and former Saleh ally. No opposition members, however, attribute these clashes to a government-orchestrated conspiracy. The violence was, analysts believe, a genuine struggle for power in the epicenter of Yemen’s political scene.

Several cities in the south, however, suffer from rampant violence as a result of government assaults on various groups. Mohammed al-Sabry, a leader of the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), the opposition’s most robust political bloc, told Al-Masry Al-Youm the current regime is utilizing the violence to garner international support.

“They [the regime] are using the violence in strategic places in the country that will concern the world; using Al-Qaeda now is to show the West the regime is the only way to fight them,” said Sabry.

“Those who are left from the regime…are implementing the same strategy of terrifying the people and leading the country into violence,” he added.

In a particularly brazen move, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninslua (AQAP) last Wednesday purportedly coordinated a jailbreak in Mukalla that set free 63 group members.

“They [those who escaped] are all under the age of 30. Some were sentenced to death, some were about to be released after four months, and some were about to be released after 20 days…we don’t know why they really escaped,” Khaled al-Daimi, governor of Hadhramaut, told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Daimi says the AQAP members exited through a tunnel 35 meters deep and 40 meters wide. All those who escaped successfully, he added, were held in one particular sector of the facility.

“They went out of their tunnel and slaughtered the guard to take his weapon,” said Daimi. “The investigations will give us more details on whether they had any weapons inside the jail or not.”

In Arhab, a district only 3km from Sanaa International Airport, 17 civilians have been killed and 35 injured in recent months from warfare between dissident tribes and the Republican Guard. The violence started in late April but stopped for weeks until resuming again on Friday.

Government shelling reportedly destroyed 84 houses and eight water wells on Friday while displacing almost one thousand families. Tribal groups also exploded five armored vehicles in Arhab on Monday.

“Arhab is so close to the airport which is so dangerous,” said Arhab journalist Ahmed Aeid. “If the landing part [of the airport] is shelled, the airport will shut down completely.”

Political analyst Ahmed Al-Zurqa told Al-Masry Al-Youm the spate of clashes in different cities is an effort to avenge the attack on Saleh.

”Sanaa took its share of violence. Even the [Ahmar] truce between the tribes and the state is weak,” said Zurqa. “The regime now tries to distribute the violence on more cities and to use the violence to protect regime interests.”

In Taiz, the location of the first anti-government protest, Republican Guards continue to assault the central square in an attempt to clear the premises where demonstrators have held their sit-in for months.

“What’s happening in Taiz is that the regime is implementing a group punishment on the protesters to ruin their peaceful protest…and to make Taiz a city full of armed people instead of a civil city full of human rights and educated groups,” said Zurqa.

Gunfire rang out in the southern city of Aden, a city close to AQAP-held Abyan, on Friday during a funeral for Ahmed al-Darwish, a 19-year-old killed recently by state security. A son of a local protest leader was killed during the funeral and seven others were wounded, locals said.

“The regime is planning to turn Aden into an AQAP center as it’s so close to Abyan,” said Zurqa. “They will make it easy for armed people to enter Aden from Abyan and Shabwa to…put pressure on the US to support them.”

In Sanaa, more than 16 hours of blackouts daily, dramatic price increases and oil and gas shortages are also attempts by the government to distract attention away from Yemen’s political turmoil, analysts say.

“The regime is trying to spread hatred among Yemenis and turn their attention to their basic needs instead of seeking democracy and human rights,“ said Zurqa.

But the state hasn’t stayed on the sidelines of leveling accusations. They blame the opposition of creating chaos and depriving the public of basic needs through exploding power lines in Mareb Governorate. State TV recently listed 43 names of JMP members and Mareb tribal figures wanted for exploding the lines while also placing financial rewards for information on the whereabouts of the accused.

The first name on the list is Ali Jaber al-Shabwani. The well-known sheikh’s son, Ahmed, told Al-Masry Al-Youm his father was responsible for sabotaging oil pipelines in the region because the regime receives exorbitant profits from the industry and doesn’t allow the population to benefit.

“We have been seeking justice for more than ten months, but the state didn’t respond so my father exploded the oil lines,” said Ahmed. “But we never harm a public interest such as the power lines.”

Ahmed also confirmed his father still lives without hiding from public view. The state, according to Ahmed, knows his father’s location but elects not to apprehend him. Ahmed says disclosing the list is merely a ploy.

UN Security Council envoys are set to arrive in Yemen on Monday to participate in a ten-day investigation on human rights violations perpetrated over the past five months of unrest in the country.

Sanaa – With President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s absence from Yemen lingering on, opposition leaders and anti-government protesters are, once again, accusing the regime of fomenting violence in provincial parts of the country for reasons of political expedience.

Presidential information secretary Ahmed al-Sofi on Sunday said Saleh plans to appear in the media within 48 hours for the first time since departing the country to receive treatment in Saudi Arabia for wounds sustained during a 3 June attack on his presidential palace.

Clashes raged in the capital with intense shelling and sniper fire for the three weeks preceding the attack. But since Saleh left the country, violence in Sanaa has abated.

The urban warfare pitted Saleh loyalists against forces led by Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, a powerful tribal leader and former Saleh ally. No opposition members, however, attribute these clashes to a government-orchestrated conspiracy. The violence was, analysts believe, a genuine struggle for power in the epicenter of Yemen’s political scene.

Several cities in the south, however, suffer from rampant violence as a result of government assaults on various groups. Mohammed al-Sabry, a leader of the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), the opposition’s most robust political bloc, told Al-Masry Al-Youm the current regime is utilizing the violence to garner international support.

“They [the regime] are using the violence in strategic places in the country that will concern the world; using Al-Qaeda now is to show the West the regime is the only way to fight them,” said Sabry.

“Those who are left from the regime…are implementing the same strategy of terrifying the people and leading the country into violence,” he added.

In a particularly brazen move, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninslua (AQAP) last Wednesday purportedly coordinated a jailbreak in Mukalla that set free 63 group members.

“They [those who escaped] are all under the age of 30. Some were sentenced to death, some were about to be released after four months, and some were about to be released after 20 days…we don’t know why they really escaped,” Khaled al-Daimi, governor of Hadhramaut, told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Daimi says the AQAP members exited through a tunnel 35 meters deep and 40 meters wide. All those who escaped successfully, he added, were held in one particular sector of the facility.

“They went out of their tunnel and slaughtered the guard to take his weapon,” said Daimi. “The investigations will give us more details on whether they had any weapons inside the jail or not.”

In Arhab, a district only 3km from Sanaa International Airport, 17 civilians have been killed and 35 injured in recent months from warfare between dissident tribes and the Republican Guard. The violence started in late April but stopped for weeks until resuming again on Friday.

Government shelling reportedly destroyed 84 houses and eight water wells on Friday while displacing almost one thousand families. Tribal groups also exploded five armored vehicles in Arhab on Monday.

“Arhab is so close to the airport which is so dangerous,” said Arhab journalist Ahmed Aeid. “If the landing part [of the airport] is shelled, the airport will shut down completely.”

Political analyst Ahmed Al-Zurqa told Al-Masry Al-Youm the spate of clashes in different cities is an effort to avenge the attack on Saleh.

”Sanaa took its share of violence. Even the [Ahmar] truce between the tribes and the state is weak,” said Zurqa. “The regime now tries to distribute the violence on more cities and to use the violence to protect regime interests.”

In Taiz, the location of the first anti-government protest, Republican Guards continue to assault the central square in an attempt to clear the premises where demonstrators have held their sit-in for months.

“What’s happening in Taiz is that the regime is implementing a group punishment on the protesters to ruin their peaceful protest…and to make Taiz a city full of armed people instead of a civil city full of human rights and educated groups,” said Zurqa.

Gunfire rang out in the southern city of Aden, a city close to AQAP-held Abyan, on Friday during a funeral for Ahmed al-Darwish, a 19-year-old killed recently by state security. A son of a local protest leader was killed during the funeral and seven others were wounded, locals said.

“The regime is planning to turn Aden into an AQAP center as it’s so close to Abyan,” said Zurqa. “They will make it easy for armed people to enter Aden from Abyan and Shabwa to…put pressure on the US to support them.”

In Sanaa, more than 16 hours of blackouts daily, dramatic price increases and oil and gas shortages are also attempts by the government to distract attention away from Yemen’s political turmoil, analysts say.

“The regime is trying to spread hatred among Yemenis and turn their attention to their basic needs instead of seeking democracy and human rights,“ said Zurqa.

But the state hasn’t stayed on the sidelines of leveling accusations. They blame the opposition of creating chaos and depriving the public of basic needs through exploding power lines in Mareb Governorate. State TV recently listed 43 names of JMP members and Mareb tribal figures wanted for exploding the lines while also placing financial rewards for information on the whereabouts of the accused.

The first name on the list is Ali Jaber al-Shabwani. The well-known sheikh’s son, Ahmed, told Al-Masry Al-Youm his father was responsible for sabotaging oil pipelines in the region because the regime receives exorbitant profits from the industry and doesn’t allow the population to benefit.

“We have been seeking justice for more than ten months, but the state didn’t respond so my father exploded the oil lines,” said Ahmed. “But we never harm a public interest such as the power lines.”

Ahmed also confirmed his father still lives without hiding from public view. The state, according to Ahmed, knows his father’s location but elects not to apprehend him. Ahmed says disclosing the list is merely a ploy.

UN Security Council envoys are set to arrive in Yemen on Monday to participate in a ten-day investigation on human rights violations perpetrated over the past five months of unrest in the country.

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/472104

Written by shatha

June 28, 2011 at 7:54 am

Posted in Yemen's news

Economic crisis boosts Saleh’s support

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SANA’A, June 26 — An economic crisis has been gripping Yemen for more than a month now. Shortages of fuel, cooking gas and hour-long blackouts have convinced some Yemenis that that revolutionary youth and the anti-government uprising are to blame.Those who have taken no part in demonstrations on either side of the political conflict are now beginning to express their support for now absent President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Their argument is that, regardless of the status of freedom and democracy in the country, before protests swept across Yemen at least the economy was stable and people had access to basic goods.

“They [the protesters] wanted change. This is the change [the economic crises] they called for” said a middle age man talking to the people on a bus.

Buses and public transportation have always been a safe place for Yemenis to share their concerns and exchange their opinions and analysis for both the economic and political situation.

People curse the protesters for seeking change the way Egypt and Tunisia did saying that Yemen is a total different society that empowers the tribal system that is strong enough to fight the state, the call for separation in the south and the fear of Islamists taking control in a power vacuum.

“They [Islah Party] will not allow women to be seen in public even if they are covered up. They will prevent women from going to school or work and they will not allow them to travel without male relatives” said one Sana’a resident to the Yemen Times.

However, protesters say the counter-revolution is what makes the situation ever worse. Some of them blame the Joint Meeting Parties, the opposition coalition parties, and the Hashid tribal confederation that joined the peaceful protests in March and fought the state in May. Other protesters blame the regime and president in Ali Abdullah Saleh’s sons and nephews.

Political analysts say that the regime wants to keep people busy and concerned for their basic needs instead of participating in the political transition. Power has been cut for more than 18 hours a day following two days of normal power in the capital. The power cuts effect all facets of life negatively. The power cuts also effects students during exams. The ministry of education worked hard to make the student get their exams and not wasting an educational year of their lives, the ministry put in mind the difficulties the students face including the power cut and made privileges to the exams this year, most of their lessons were not included in the exams although it were taught to them, all the questions are optional.

“The whole exam was on TV with the answers yesterday as a revision and some of my friends saw it, but I didn’t because of the power cut” said Summer Hussein, a ninth grade student.

Power cuts also drive up prices in other economic sectors, such as water distribution. Water trucks need power and fuel to run pumps. Fuel is transferred to Sana’a every Sunday night then long queues for three days causing crowds in spite Saudi Arabia granting 3,000,000 barrels to help Yemen out of this crisis but the storages in Yemen is not enough to receive the whole amount of fuel now.

“What’s happing now is an attempt to change the revolution from being a revolution for more rights and freedom to a revolution of hunger and revenge” said Ahmed Al-Zurqa, journalist and political analyst, “people are fed up with the situation, all the political parties want to make the revolution sound as a political crises and get their own benefit of it”.

Moreover, international NGOs and youth groups are trying to mobilize people to improve the situation. The emergency “Food Assistance to Conflict-Affected Persons in Northern Yemen” operation is experiencing a total 2011 financial shortfall of US $27.1 million. The “Emergency Food Security and Nutrition Support to Vulnerable Populations in Yemen” operation is experiencing a total 2011 financial shortfall of US $26.5 million. The “Food Assistance for Somali Refugees” operation is experiencing a total 2011 financial shortfall of US $1.2 million. The Yemen country program, “Food for Girls’ Education”, is experiencing a total 2011 financial shortfall of US $10.8 million.

Written by shatha

June 28, 2011 at 7:44 am

Posted in Yemen's news

Locals in Abyan accuse regime of fomenting chaos

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SANA’A, June 26 — A leading Al-Qaeda figure confirmed to the Yemen Times that the fight in Abyan governorate, which has displaced over 1,300 families from the governorate, is against Al-Qaeda warriors and other cooperating “armed groups” that do not belong to Al-Qaeda, but share the same aim on the ground.

Locals told the Yemen times that security forces didn’t fight the armed groups as effectively as they could, so that they could to show the world that the southern part of Yemen is always under threat of terrorism, and that they could only be unified with the north under the current regime’s control.

Mohamed Khanbash, a lieutenant colonial from a village only 20 km away from Zinjibar, said that it was easy for the armed groups to overcome the city and government facilities.

“They [the regime] want to send a message to the US that the Joint Meeting Party or the revolutionaries are those behind the armed groups in Abyan, to make the US take a position against the revolution,” said Khanbash.

Although the locals believe the armed groups are sent by the regime, they try to keep them out of their villages in order to avoid drone strikes. “We advise some of these armed people not to enter our villages to avoid troubles and they listen,” said Khanbesh.

“The authority wants to create chaos in the south. They are doing their worst against us with their policies,” said a local from Abyan.

Khalid Al-Abd, a local journalist from Loder in Abyan, said that the situation is in Loder is terrible, with long queues for fuel and gas, and business completely stopped.

“The armed groups in Zinjibar are originally from Loder. They were found by some of the regime figures in Sana’a who are claiming their support for the revolution now,” said Al-Abd.

“What’s happening in Abyan should be questioned this way: why is the fight against terrorists happening only in the south and not in the north? It’s a play to make unification sound like the only solution to counter terrorism,” he added.

“We are stronger than ever,” said an Al-Qeada member who asked to remain anonymous.

Although there has been no official statement from the White House that the drone strikes used against armed groups in Abyan are American, Yemeni security experts say the drones are American. The New York Times reported a US official as saying that the Obama administration is using the country’s power vacuum to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets.

The fact that American drones strikes against a Yemeni city provokes Al-Qaeda and makes them strengthen their operations according to an Al-Qaeda member, and gains them more local support.

“Every day they are striking civilians. It’s a crime against humanity,” said a former colonel that was suspended last January. “The armed groups are few, and there is no way they could take over the city unless they were facilitated by officials. And that’s what happened. Everything is under their control,” he added.

The displaced families escaped fearing for their lives to Aden, and were relocated within local schools, according to Islamic Relief Yemen.

Security force officials were replaced in Zinjibar after they escaped according to Adbellah Saeed, head of central security in Modya, Abyan.

After Tuesday’s attack on Al-Hutta, Lahj civilians confirmed to the Yemen Times that the armed groups were known from Al-Hamra village and were not Al-Qaeda members.

“There were crazy explosions the whole night. The armed group were mingling in the city and no one stooped them. But the fight started when we heard that they aimed to control the bank. The security forces only fight when it comes to money, but when our lives might be exposed to danger they don’t care much,” said one of the residents of Al-Hutta.

Written by shatha

June 28, 2011 at 7:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Faces from Yemen’s revolution: Ameen Dabwan

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In the center of a march led by the independent youth from their stage in front of the old university, one can always find a 31-year-old protester holding a microphone and shouting chants against the US and Saudi Arabian governments, both of whom try to paint “the Yemeni revolution as a political crisis.”He comes from a family that gave two of its sons to serve the revolution, one in Change Square in Sana’a, and the other in Horiya Square in Taiz. Ameen Dabwan in was born in Shara’ab, Al-Rona in Taiz governorate.  He graduated from the faculty of education and majored in chemistry.  Before the revolution started in February, he was continuing his studies and preparing for a master’s degree from Sana’a University.  He is head of a small family consisting of him, his wife, a son and a daughter.Dabwan, who comes from a poor social class, had to struggle to reach his goal of getting his master’s degree while also feeding his family. In a country that considers those holding a masters degree among the elite, Dabwan works a second job all night in a humble cafeteria after studying in the morning and then teaching school in the afternoon.

Dabwan is one of the people responsible for the independent youth stage and always gives a speech to urging them to never give up their revolution regardless of any pressure by other sides, the state or the Joint Meeting Parties.

“We were suffering, everything in our lives were just small parts of the great things they could be. Whenever the head of the university gives a lecture he compliments the president for no reason,” said Dabwan.

Dabwan was among those who sparked the revolution.  He believed in it then and still believes in it with the same strength.

“I had faith in the revolution when I first saw the people go against injustice in the first few demonstrations, “ he said.

Although he spends his whole day in the square, Dabwan did not originally have a tent as his house is near the protest area. Then, when he and his friends started a coalition of the Yemen Free Youth as part of the independent youth work, he was member of its council. Thus his first tent was the tent they set up for the coalition, which acted as a shelter and organizational point for the independent youth who faced difficulties with the Islah party.  The coalition’s slogan was “No Political Parties, Our Revolution is a Youth Revolution.”

Dabwan was once almost kidnapped by anonymous men in a car on his way from the Square to Madhbah.  Inside the square he also faced violations of his rights and continuous interrogations “because of the coalition”.  “We kept silent for long time about the violations against the independent youth, but now we have silent marches inside the square to condemn the violations against us,” he said.

In the early days of the revolution, he said, “They [Islah] cut of our banners sometimes, some of the more active youth in our coalition faced double danger as they were followed by the security forces and also sometimes kidnapped by the Islamists in the square.  Still, we try to address this kind of behavior inside the square because we are aiming for a more cohesive country.”

Dabwan was also threatened with being transferred from his job and was interrogated on the charge of “leading school students to engage in political activism in Change Square.”  His salary was suspended as a result.

“Ameen is one of those youth leaders in Change Square who works in silence, a very modest person who always smiles and knows how to absorb anger,” said one of the protesters.

Dabwan said that the independent youth are more revolutionary despite their poverty, and that despite their being less organized than other popular movements in the Arab World, their efforts will eventually end the revolution and achieve their goals.

“I vow to continue the revolution.  The US and Saudi Arabia won’t change our dreams.  We can establish a civil state that draws the respect of its neighbors later, but for now we will revolt until we fix the country.”

Written by shatha

June 28, 2011 at 7:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Faces from Yemen’s revolution: Alaa Jarban

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In February, a few young students from Sana’a University started protesting, calling for change and and an end to President Saleh’s regime. It was called ‘the day of rage’, but unlike that in Egypt, the Yemeni protest didn’t last longer than the afternoon, and then they went back to their normal lives again.

A group of those students created an initiative to clean the streets where the protest had taken place. The idea, as they describe it, was to clean up what ‘politics’ has caused in Yemen.

“We wanted to prove to the others that we didn’t protest to ruin the country, but to reform it,” said one of the protesters.

That first protest was one of the initial sparks that would lead to the sit-in in front of Sana’a University, soon to be renamed ‘Change Square’, that continues to this day. Attending that first protest was Alaa Jarban, a 21 year old in his third year of a business administration degree at Sana’a University.

Alaa has always believed in more freedom, democracy and human rights before “the youth revolution” started in Yemen. He had already been engaged in human rights activities, spending six months in Bulgaria with the Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER ). This is a youth-to-youth initiative pioneered by UNFPA that brings together more than 500 non-profit organizations and government institutions. Its thousands of young members work in the area of adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Alaa is also responsible for his family of three sisters and his mother.

“My mother kicks me out of the house, urging me to go to Change Square,” said Alaa.

On Feb. 24, two young journalists and three activists were called upon to meet President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and to deliver their message stating why they wanted him to step down. The five decided to call those who they believed in to share the moment where they could speak clearly to the president and ask him to leave. Alaa was one of those they called.

He attended the group discussion about what to say to the president. Together they papered a draft of demands for a civil state that Saleh’s regime has still failed to establish. Alaa worked hard with the group until nightfall. But by the end of the meeting, he stood up and told the group that whilst he appreciated the way they thought, he could not join them.

“I believe that two hours with Saleh is wasting our time. I prefer to be doing something else in the protest that the people will get benefit from,” said Alaa.

Over the five months of anti-government protest, Alaa took shifts in the security committees of the protest, and used social media to mobilize people for marches and escalations. He has been dedicating his time to tweet the international community the events unfolding in Yemen. These efforts have attracted threatening messages and phone calls.

“On a personal level, I have received threats that I will be eliminated, via phone calls, SMS, Facebook and even Twitter. My phone has been tapped for a while, and strangers have tried to kidnap me a few times now when leaving Change Square and walking in the city. I have friends who have been captured and tortured by the security forces. Then they are conditionally released. They are now planning to leave the country.” Alaa wrote.

“This all puts a heavy psychological pressure on me. I can’t go out easily. I can’t go out on my own, and I can’t stop worrying about my family’s safety. The financial pressures also adds to the troubles. There’s a fuel shortage, and long lines of cars waiting at empty gas stations on a false hope that they will find few gallons of fuel and diesel so they can provide food for their family.”

“Whether this is planned by the failing regime or not, the world needs to know that Yemenis are living in a severe humanitarian catastrophe. It may get even worse, and we really need the international community’s help to survive.”

Written by shatha

June 28, 2011 at 7:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Al-Qaeda prisoners escape from jail in Al-Mukalla By: Shatha Al-Harazi

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June 22 – At least 65 prisoner’s escaped on Tuesday from Al-Mukalla Central Prison. Some of the escaped prisoners have been confirmed as Al-Qaeda members who had been transferred from another prison in Al-Mukalla to the central prison.

Civilians claim that heavy gunfire broke out around 8am between security forces and escapees. The situation in the city has now returned to normal, with only one armored vehicle guarding the entrance of Jol Al-Saifa’a where the central prison is located.

The General-Secretary of Mukala’s Local Council, Mohammad Bin Ziad, who has been following the incident, told the Yemen Times that the confirmed number of escapees is 65 so far. However, he also said more details will be released after investigations have been carried out and eyewitnesses questioned.

“There was an external attack on the prison,” said Bin Ziad. “People broke into the prison from outside and slaughtered the guards. There are eyewitnesses and fatalities on both sides.”

According to Bin Ziad, one of the attackers was shot dead in the gunfight, but due to security reasons no names as yet can be released.

The Yemen Times contacted the head of Al-Mukalla’s security on the phone who angrily responded, “For information call the minister [of the interior],” before hanging up.

Al-Qaeda vowed earlier to escalate its operations to prove that the death of its founder, Osama Bin Laden who was recently killed in Pakistan, does not effect its operations. AQAP has recently launched a number of successful attacks in Abyan governorate, taking advantage of a power vacuum that has existed since security forces have been removed to deal with the popular uprisings sweeping the country.

Al-Qaeda in Yemen has also vowed to escalate its activity against the state. Both the state and the opposition parties have promised to fight Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) in order to gain the trust of the US, according to Rashad Abi Al-Feda, an AQAP spokesman.

Amed Al-Zurqa, a political analyst, said that the escape might have been planned by the regime to “mix the papers,” and make Al-Qaeda more active. This would be to gain international attention and raise concerns about what would happen the current regime was overthrown.

“Most of those who escaped are from Hadramout and Shabwa, so they know the area very well. But the large number of them [who escaped] makes us suspect that it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for neglect by the prison responsible,” said Al-Zurqa.

Al-Zurqa said that this will likely lead to increasing chaos in the city, and more violence, especially the assassination of state officials and security members.

The last major breakout by Al Qaeda militants in Yemen took place in 2006 from a detention facility in Sana’a. At that time, 23 inmates escaped including several key Al-Qaeda operatives. One of those who escaped was Nasir Al-Wuhayshi, a former secretary to Osama bin Laden, who terrorist experts say had trained in Afghanistan.

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=36234

Written by shatha

June 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Posted in Yemen's news

TRAUMA NACH US-KILLMISSION Bruder der Bin Laden-Witwe: “Haben große Sorge um Schwester” SHATHA AL-HARAZI | 21. Juni 2011, 13:47

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Artikelbild: Zur Person: Zakarya Al-Sada ist der Bruder der fünften Frau Osama
 Bin Ladens, die sich im gleichen Raum wie ihr Ehemann aufgehalten haben
 soll, als US-Einheiten das Haus stürmten. Sie soll dabei eine 
Schussverletzung am Bein erlitten haben. Sie wurde nach dem US-Zugriff in ein Militärkrankenhaus gebracht und 
von den Pakistanern verhört. 
Amal Ahmed Abdul Al-Fatah 
Al-Sada und ihre Bruder stammen aus der Provinz Ibb. Amal heiratete Osama Bin Laden im Jahr 2000, damals 
18-jährig. Die Heirat soll Teil eines "politischen Arrangements" zwischen Bin Laden und einem einflussreichen jemenitischen Stamm gewesen sein, um die Rekrutierung von Al Kaida-Kämpfern im Jemen voranzutreiben ("Lawrence Wright: The Looming Tower. Al-Quaeda and the Road to 9/11").
Anfang Mai berichtete die Yemen Times unter Berufung auf den 
pakistanischen Botschafter in Jemen, dass Amal nach Jemen zurückkehren darf. - Foto: Shatha Al-Harazi

  • Zur Person: Zakarya Al-Sada ist der Bruder der fünften Frau Osama Bin Ladens, die sich im gleichen Raum wie ihr Ehemann aufgehalten haben soll, als US-Einheiten das Haus stürmten. Sie soll dabei eine Schussverletzung am Bein erlitten haben. Sie wurde nach dem US-Zugriff in ein Militärkrankenhaus gebracht und von den Pakistanern verhört.

    Amal Ahmed Abdul Al-Fatah Al-Sada und ihre Bruder stammen aus der Provinz Ibb. Amal heiratete Osama Bin Laden im Jahr 2000, damals 18-jährig. Die Heirat soll Teil eines “politischen Arrangements” zwischen Bin Laden und einem einflussreichen jemenitischen Stamm gewesen sein, um die Rekrutierung von Al Kaida-Kämpfern im Jemen voranzutreiben (“Lawrence Wright: The Looming Tower. Al-Quaeda and the Road to 9/11”).

    Anfang Mai berichtete die Yemen Times unter Berufung auf den pakistanischen Botschafter in Jemen, dass Amal nach Jemen zurückkehren darf.

  • Artikelbild - Foto: Shatha Al-Harazi

Zakarya Al-Sadas Schwester war Bin Ladens fünfte Frau und Zeugin seines Todes – Al-Sada über eine problematische Verwandtschaft

Zakarya Al-Sada ist 24 Jahre alt und unterstützt wie tausende seiner Altersgenossen der Proteste im Jemen. Bis zum Tod Osama Bin Ladens. Denn Al-Sada befürchtet, dass seine Verwandschaft zum meistgesuchten Mann der Welt der Bewegung im Jemen schaden könnte. Al-Sada ist Schwager von Osama Bin Laden und Bruder von Bin Ladens Witwe Amal, die Zeugin der Erschießung ihres Mannes wurde. Er spricht im derStandard.at-Interview mit der jemenitischen Journalistin Shatha Al-Haraziin über die Berichte, dass seine Schwester, Bin Ladens Witwe, zu ihrer Familie nach Jemen gebracht werden soll. Obwohl die Familie optimistisch ist, dass Amal Ahmed Abdul al Fatah al Sada zurückkehren darf, befürchtet sie, dass “zweifelhaften Gruppierungen” versuchen, das zu boykottieren.

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derStandard.at: Kann die politische Krise im Jemen die Rückkehr ihrer Schwester Amal verhindern oder beeinflussen?

Zakarya Al-Sada: Nachdem wir herausgefunden haben, dass Amal sich nach Bin Ladens Tod noch in Pakistan aufhält, bin ich zur pakistanischen Botschaft nach Sanaa gegangen und habe dort etliche Male versucht, Informationen über ihre Situation zu erhalten. Dann habe ich das Außenministerium kontaktiert, dort hat man mir verprochen, Amals Rückkehr nach Jemen zu fordern, nachdem sie ja jemenitische Staatsbürgerin ist. Das Ministerium drängte uns, den jemenitischen Botschafter in Islamabad zu kontaktieren, vor allem weil die pakistanische Regierung gerade versprochen hatte, Bin Ladens Frauen zurück in ihre Heimatländer zu schicken. Wir machen uns aber große Sorgen wegen der chaotischen Situtation im Jemen. Gerade jetzt, wo sich der Herrscher und die Oppositionellen ständig gegenseitig als Terroristen bezeichnen will keiner von ihnen mit einer Bin Laden-Witwe in Zusammenhang gebracht werden, obwohl sie wissen, dass wir, außer dieser Heirat, nichts mit Bin Laden zu tun haben.

Bis zu Bin Ladens Tod war ich einfach einer von vielen jungen und friedlichen Demonstranten, die nach Wandel und Demokratie riefen und enthusiastisch versuchten, Teil einer neuen jemenitischen Zivilgesellschaft zu sein. Als ich von seinem Tod erfuhr, beschloss ich, nicht mehr an den Demos teilzunehmen. Meine größte Angst war, dass irgendwelche Leute, die die Protestbewegung diffamieren wollen, mich irgendeiner Art von terroristischen Aktivitäten beschuldigen, nur weil ich Bin Ladens Schwager bin. Jemen ist mittlerweile zweigeteilt, nach dem Motto: Bist zu du nicht für uns, bist du gegen uns. Ich habe mich an etliche Menschenrechtsorganisationen im Jemen gewandt, aber es ist schwierig, eine wirklich neutrale Organisation zu finden. Ich musste klarstellen, dass es sich beim Fall meiner Schwester und ihrer Kinder um einen rein humanitären Fall handelt, der nicht für politische Zwecke missbraucht werden darf. Die NGOs und die politischen Parteien sollten den Fall als Menschenrechtsfall behandeln und uns helfen, sie in den Jemen zurückzuholen.

derStandard.at: Was sind Ihre nächsten Schritte?

Zakarya Al-Sada: Der beste Weg, sie zurückzuholen, ist der diplomatische über die jemenitische Botschaft in Islamabad. Daneben versuchen wir mit lokalen und internationalen NGOs zusammenzuarbeiten, daran knüpfen wir große Hoffnungen. Obwohl wir mittlerweile wissen, dass es Amal gesundheitlich gut geht, haben wir aber bisher keinen Kontakt zu ihr, nicht einmal telefonisch. Wir machen uns große Sorgen, dass sie bei der US-Aktion ein Trauma erlitten hat.

derStandard.at: Sie haben keinen Kontakt zu ihr? Woher kommen dann ihre Information zu ihrem Zustand?

Dass ihr Gesundheitszustand gut ist, haben uns sowohl die pakistanischen als auch die jemenitischen Behörden versichert. Das letzte Mal hatten wir Kontakt zu ihr, als sie ihr erstes Kind “Safia” geboren hat. Das war noch vor dem Krieg gegen Afghanistan. Wir haben danach jedes Mal, wenn wir jemanden trafen, der in Afghanistan Kontakt zu ihr gehabt haben könnte, um Informationen gefragt, aber keine wertvollen bekommen. Jetzt, nach Bin Ladens Tod, habe ich den jemenitischen Botschafter gebeten, doch mit ihr zu sprechen, um uns zu beruhigen. Er hat uns gesagt, dass die Behörden ihm ein Gespräch versprochen hätten, dieses Versprechen ist aber bis heute nicht eingelöst worden.

derStandard.at: Was hat die jemenitische Botschaft denn sonst noch versucht?

Zakarya Al-Sada: Die Botschaft in Islamabad strengt sich sehr an und wir sind sehr dankbar, vor allem, dass der Botschafter Amals Rückkehr offiziell gefordert hat und unseren Fall wie jeden anderen Fall einer jemenitischen Staatsbürgerin behandelt. Erst vor wenigen Tagen hat er mich angerufen und uns versichert, dass Amal und ihre Kinder in den kommenden Tagen ausreisen dürfen und wir sind optimistisch, auch wenn wir uns darüber ärgern, dass wir nicht mit ihr sprechen dürfen und um ihre derzeitige Situation ein großes Geheimnis gemacht wird. Aber Kinder und Frauen haben nichts mit der ganzen Terrorismussache zu tun. Die Welt sollte nicht auf Muslime, Araber oder Jemeniten als Terroristen schauen.

derStandard.at: In einer Aussendung haben sie die Presse vor einer Person gewarnt, die sich als Verwandte Amals ausgibt. Was steckt dahinter?

Zakarya Al-Sada: Ich habe vor bestimmten Personen gewarnt, die im Fernsehen und in Zeitungen vorgeben, mit Amal verwandt zu sein. Das sind Leute, die das Chaos im Jemen für politische Zwecke ausnutzen. Diese Leute werden von zweifelhaften Gruppierungen bezahlt, die Jemen vor den Augen der Welt als gefährliches Land darstellen wollen. Einer dieser Leute, die unseren Namen benutzen ist Waleed al-Sada. Er verbreitet Gerüchte, sagt zum Beispiel, wir würden um Bin Laden trauern und Amal würde jetzt am liebsten auch sterben wollen. Einige große Fernsehsender haben das gebracht, obwohl sie wussten, dass er nicht mit uns verwandt ist.

derStandard.at: Haben Sie vorher je Probleme gehabt, weil sie Bin Ladens Schwager sind?

Zakarya Al-Sada: Es hat einige Versuche gegeben, uns für gewisse Zwecke zu vereinnamen. Andere haben Gerüchte gestreut, mein Vater sei vor einer Verhaftung nach Afghanistan geflüchtet oder wir hätten tagelang gegen die Sicherheitskräfte in unserer Stadt Ibb gekämpft.

derStandard.at: Wer würde davon profitieren, die Rückkehr Amals zu behindern?

Zakarya Al-Sada: Wie gesagt. Die einzigen, die profitieren sind jene, die uns und Jemen mit Terrorismus in Zusammenhang bringen wollen. Aber jeder im Jemen weiß, was wir glauben und denken, und dass diese Heirat ein normaler Vorgang war. Kinder und Frauen haben nichts mit der ganzen Terrorismussache zu tun. Die Welt sollte nicht auf Muslime, Araber oder Jemeniten als Terroristen schauen. Wir glauben an den Frieden. (Shatha Al-Harazi, derStandard.at, 21.6.2011)

Zur Autorin: Shatha Al-Harazi ist Menschenrechts-Journalistin in Sanaa und Autorin der Yemen Times.

 

Written by shatha

June 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Posted in Yemen's news

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